Mindful Food: Eat Your Way to Relaxation and Sleep

Energy drinks are so pre-2020.

2020 brought sudden unexpected changes to a world we once knew. In these uncharted waters, anxiety and stress rose to new heights.

It should come as no surprise then that foods with benefits to relaxation and sleep we’re desperately sought out for. If there was anything good to come out of the pandemic it would have to be increased care and attention to one’s health.

Now instead of energy boosting foods, foods that help increase mindfulness are on the rise. We’ve seen countless businesses roll out their meditation apps and yoga mats in 2020 but we suspect we’ll see innovations in the food space too.

Here are some foods that’ll help you stay sane with relaxation and sleep for the uncertain year ahead!

Fruits and Veggies…How Typical.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins but here we are referencing a particular one. That particular one is vitamin C. Brent A. Bauer, M.D suggests that vitamin C may help boost your mood.

Vitamin C cannot be stored nor created by the body and a deficiency in the vitamin often causes depression and fatigue. Some studies show vitamin C supplementation successfully boosting mood and lowering anxiety levels.

Boost vitamin C levels with citrus foods like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Also try rose hips, thyme, broccoli, kale, kiwi, and guavas.

Fatty Fish Are Friends

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fish, help reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are believed to be the reason for reduced stress.

Salmon and other fatty fish are often referenced as a food to help with mental health.

Also try: Mackerel, black cod, anchovies, oysters, sardines, and rainbow trout.

Wait, Don’t Breakup with Carbs Yet

Not all carbs are created equal. Sure, if you’re trying to lose weight then you may cut down on pizza, white bread, bagels, and more stuff that taste good. Whole grains however help promote calmness.

Feelings of serenity from whole grains can be attributed to their richness in fiber and vitamin B. Whole grain carbs are even believed to increase serotonin in the brain according to Mayo Clinic.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Nuts

B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids can be found in various nuts and help reduce stress. Vitamin B supports the nervous system and improves anxiety symptoms.

These are less than half of the many amazing benefits however.

Here are some nuts and seeds to keep you from going nuts:

  • Pumpkin Seeds
    • Rich in magnesium.
    • Stress can deplete magnesium and many processed foods lack this nutrient
    • Magnesium can also improve sleep quality
  • Walnuts
    • Reduces risk of depression and improves mood in males according to this study
  • Almonds
    • May help with sleep because it is a source of melatonin

Do You Trust Your Gut?

Gut health, in recent years, has become the subject of many health studies. Many of these studies suggest there is a correlation between healthy gut bacteria and mental health.

This would mean that keeping your gut healthy will help your mind deal with stress and anxiety. Probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha is sought for this very reason.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help restore gut flora. By consuming probiotics, you are allowing them to interact with the colony of micro organisms in your gut and alter it.

Care for a Cup of Tea?

Tea is often associated with cleansing the body of toxicants and promoting relaxation.

Here are a couple to try if you haven’t already:

  • Peppermint Tea
    • Has menthol which acts as a natural muscle rexalant
    • Herbal, therefore caffeine-free
    • Calms your mind and eases bodily tension
  • Chamomile Tea
    • Contains flavones which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation
    • Also contains Apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific brain receptors that promote sleep and fight insomnia

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